Monday, November 17, 2008

A little help for a friend

What do you do when you see a friend in need? What do you do when that friend has a history of not being able to do simple things to take care of himself? These are the questions Jon and I have been pondering all weekend. A friend of ours needs help. In fact, we believe, it's a matter of life or death.

Our friend, "Joe," is very sick. We saw him on Saturday and he looks like a walking skeleton. He is a grown man who weighs 113 pounds. He is skin and bones, literally.

He is not anorexic or bulimic. He's eating, he's not purging, but his body is not processing food correctly. He is a diabetic with no health insurance, no job and no means of transportation. We think his diabetes has changed and the medication that he's on is no longer effective and it's killing him. His body is so sick that he recently got a staph infection from a paper cut.

This guy is down on his luck and has been for quite some time. I think a lot of his bad luck is self-inflicted, but at this point there is no use in arguing the details of how he got where he is. The simple fact is that he looks terrible and he is not healthy and I'm pretty sure he's going to be dead in a matter of months if he doesn't get help.

We have a plan. Joe found a free clinic who will take him, but he needs transportation and the desire to get help. Jon is going to call him tonight and see if he's taken any steps to get himself to the clinic. We're giving him one week to get himself there, if by Friday he has not admitted himself, Jon is going to pick him up and take him there.

But we're struggling with how deeply we should get involved. Joe should really be taking care of himself. He knows he is sick. He knows he needs help, but for some reason it's just not a top priority. I almost feel like we need to stage an intervention or something. Maybe, like a drug addict, he needs help to get help. Unfortunately, I do not think we could muster the help from his family and it would fall on us.


On another hospital-related note, we took Ryan to the urologist on Friday and his surgery is scheduled for this Thursday.


Autumn's Mom said...

It makes me sad to hear stories like this. Reminds me of someone who didn't seek help in time. I hope your friend does. Maybe a helping hand, a gentle tug, is what he'll need to get to that clinic.

I'll be thinking of you guys on Thursday. :)

Heather said...

Hey. I'm pretty sure I know who this is. Let me know what John and I can do to help. Although we're no longer friends with "Joe" we'll help you with anything he needs. You know he won't take care of himself and this is self inflicted, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't help him out and we'll help too.